Citation by judicial bodies of international human rights treaties 161. The national legal system of the Republic of Uzbekistan recognizes the precedence of international law over national law. At the same time, an international treaty, for purposes of its enforcement, must be implemented in national laws. After implementation, the norms of international law become part of domestic law and are binding. But directly citing a given international treaty is not standard practice among the judicial bodies of Uzbekistan and is extremely rare.
Legal remedies for human rights violations 162. Uzbekistan law clearly defines the legal remedies for violations of protected rights. Those remedies are given in legislative enactments such as the Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure; the law on the courts, the law on the Office of the Public Procurator, the law on citizens’ recourse, the law on lodging complaints in court regarding actions and decisions violating the rights and freedoms of citizens, the law on the Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the law on the legal profession and the law on non-governmental non-commercial organizations; the regulation on the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the regulation on the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
163. Several types of legal protection exist in the Republic of Uzbekistan for human rights violations, and they may be divided into administrative and judicial. None of the remedies is at variance with one another, and they supplement one another. These types of legal remedies include both mediation and reconciliation strategies and the more official form of legal services.
164. Administrative procedures for filing a complaint about a human rights violation. In the event of a violation of an individual’s rights by an officer of any institution, the individual may turn to a higher agency in the hierarchy. The complaint must be reviewed within one month, and the person must be given a written, reasoned reply. This procedure is used rather often and is effective.
165. For a human rights violation, the individual may approach the public procurator’s office, and the complaint will also be reviewed within one month. The review of a specific complaint by authorities of the public procurator’s office is performed by a superior public procurator and may conclude with the public procurator’s prescription of legal action against the official who committed the human rights violation. Filing a complaint with the public procurator’s office is also a rather powerful and effective way of restoring violated rights.
166. Since 2005, operating within the Ministry of Justice has been the Department for the Protection of Human Rights, one of whose functions is to review appeals and complaints with regard to human rights violations. The services provided by this department include free legal assistance in petitioning the court, if necessary. In recent years, a great deal of legal assistance has been provided to entrepreneurs, farmers, and rural people.
167. The Office for the Protection of Human Rights and Cooperation with International Organizations, which operates within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, participates in the review of complaints of human rights violations committed by internal affairs staff.
168. The Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) of the Oliy Majlis and the National Centre for Human Rights for the Republic of Uzbekistan are also engaged in extrajudicial protection of the rights of citizens in the system of State institutions. The Commissioner’s review of a complaint is accompanied by a special independent investigation conducted by that office and a decision that is of an advisory nature for the officials who are deciding the case. The number of complaints filed with the Ombudsman and the positive outcomes demonstrate the trust that citizens have in that office. The National Centre for Human Rights also reviews complaints from the public with regard to violated rights, which is part of the monitoring done by the Centre.
169. Judicial procedures for the protection of violated rights. The use of administrative procedures to complain of violated rights does not preclude the possibility of going to court to restore one’s rights. Unlike administrative procedures, judicial procedures require the payment of legal fees and involve lengthy examination of cases.
170. Among the means of legal defense is the institution of the bar, which is a network of governmental and non-governmental law firms and offices. In addition, in operation at law schools in the republic are legal clinics, where citizens are provided free legal assistance. Human rights may also be protected in public organizations that act in court as the legal representatives of a person.
Institutions and national mechanisms that oversee the exercise of human rights 171. Pursuant to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, national institutions for human rights have been created in Uzbekistan: the Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) of the Oliy Majlis, the National Centre for Human Rights, and the Institute for Monitoring Prevailing Legislation, reporting to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
172. A substantial role in the monitoring of compliance with human rights law belongs to the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis, which, with the means made available to it, helps specifically not only to restore violated rights, but also to improve Republic of Uzbekistan law.
173. Examining the appeals of citizens and providing assistance in restoring their violated rights and freedoms is one of the priority areas of the Ombudsman in the performance of its duties to further develop cooperation between the Human Rights Commissioner and State authorities, the courts, and law enforcement for the purpose of fully and effectively respecting and protecting human rights and freedoms in Uzbekistan.
174. Accordingly, in 2006, the institution of the Ombudsman received 7,655 appeals, which included a total of 4,753 to the central office, 1,377 to regional representatives, 848 re-filed, and 647 on hotlines; legal advice and explanations were given out. Of the appeals that came to the Human Rights Commissioner regarding the violation of the rights, freedoms, and legal interests of citizens, a total of 1,434 complaints were taken under advisement. Over the span of the reporting period, 351 appeals were resolved in positive fashion, and the rest remain under review. A total of 34,444 appeals were mailed to the Human Rights Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis, and 1,309 were filed in person, with women accounting for 2,439, men accounting for 1,856, and group complaints accounting for 456.
175. On 31 October 1996, a presidential decree created the National Centre for Human Rights for the Republic of Uzbekistan.
176. That agency was created to coordinate the activities of all governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in protecting human rights. The Centre studies various aspects of the protection and safeguarding of human rights both on the national level and on the international level; prepares national reports on the fulfillment of international human rights obligations for United Nations convention agencies; organizes training programmes, seminars, lecture courses and field trips; provides assistance in the development and implementation of human rights training programmes; compiles and disseminates information on human rights; develops technical cooperation and informational links with international human rights centres or organizations; provides field coordination of the activities of international agencies that render technical assistance in matters of democratization, administration, and protection of human rights; and receives and reviews complaints from the public on human rights violations.
177. The Institute for Monitoring Prevailing Legislation is the research arm of the system of executive agencies that monitors legislation, as well as provides legal evaluation of the laws being passed.
178. The Republican Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children handles matters involving socially vulnerable children in Uzbekistan. It is an independent organization formed in accordance with a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers. The Centre’s main functions are to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the social protection of children and to analyze and develop regulations for safeguarding and protecting the rights and interests of socially vulnerable groups of children.
179. A network of non-governmental organizations engaged in protecting and promoting specific human rights also operates in the country in close cooperation with State authorities.
180. Created in 2005 for purposes of coordinating the activities of NGOs in Uzbekistan was the National Association of Non-Governmental Non-Commercial Organizations of Uzbekistan, whose members today number 330 Uzbekistan NGOs that encompass all spheres of the life of the society and operate in various fields (social support, the law, women, youth, the environment, etc.).
181. The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan provides consulting services to the government on matters of policy affecting women. The Committee was created in 1991 and is a budget organization funded with State monies. The uniqueness of the national mechanism consists in the fact that the chairperson of the Women’s Committee is at the same time a deputy prime minister, which gives the organization the right to coordinate the social partnership between governmental organizations and public and non-governmental organizations. The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan initiates, coordinates, and implements governmental policy, programmes, and projects geared to improving women's status; advises the government on matters pertaining to women; and disseminates pertinent information among women and on the problems women face. In order to maintain the rate of advancement of women, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan focuses special attention on five priority programme areas: employment and the economic well-being of women; the safeguarding of the reproductive rights and reproductive health of women; women and their participation in the life of the society, with an especial focus on the participation of women in leadership and decision making; women and the law, with an especial focus on the elimination of discrimination against women; and women and education, with a focus on the development of professionalism and competency. The Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan also bears primary responsibility for the participation of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the conduct of international events involving the problems women face.
182. The Women’s Committee is the largest women’s organization of the Republic of Uzbekistan and has its own chapters in all regions of the republic.
183. A number of non-governmental non-commercial organizations are active in the protection of the rights of the child.
184. In 1993, at the initiative of the general public, the Soglom Avlod Uchun (For a Healthy Generation) International Charity Non-Governmental Foundation was created. The foundation’s primary mission is to create the conditions necessary for the birth and rearing of well-integrated children. To accomplish that, the foundation works to develop and implement humanitarian, medical, and educational programmes; projects for gifted children and for promoting a healthy lifestyle; and programs that encompass vulnerable segments of the population, children, and youth.
185. The Foundation operates in 14 regions of Uzbekistan; what’s more, foundation support centres are operating in each rayon. In all, it has more than 180 local representative offices and upwards of 250 people throughout the republic—medical people, teachers and economists who are working vigorously to implement existing programmes and to develop new ones.
186. A coordinating role is played by the Foundation’s headquarters, which has five departments: department for protection of mother and child, humanitarian assistance department, procedural organization department, financial management department, accounting department.
187. Its primary activities are funded with financial resources coming from sponsors both local and international, as well as from the charter activities of subsidiary entities created within the Foundation..
188. At present, the foundation is one of the most reputable non-commercial charity organizations in Uzbekistan, and it takes an active part in solving the State’s social policy problems and pressing problems of society.
189. The foundation is one of the founders of print publications such as the Soglom Avlod Uchun journal, the Soglom Avlod (Healthy Generation) Newspaper, Oila Va Zhamiyat (Family and Society), Tong Yulduzi (Morning Star), and Klass!
190. The Sen Yolg’iz Emassan (You Are Not Alone) Republican Public Children’s Fund began operations in Uzbekistan in 2002. The primary mission of the fund is to provide comprehensive assistance in creating the conditions necessary for a decent life and full development for children, to maintain the primacy of the family and to see to it that the necessary actions are taken to provide the greatest protection of the interests of children who are acutely in need of the society’s support (orphans, children deprived of parental care, neglected children, disabled children and children from poor families).
191. The work of the Sen Yolg’iz Emassan Fund is done within long-tem charitable programmes for assisting children.
192. The main goals and objectives of the fund involve the solution of a variety of childhood problems:
the protection of the rights and legal interests of children in need of social protection;
the development of well-integrated individuals;
spiritual and moral education of children;
provision of material, medical, legal and other assistance;
assistance in the prevention and protection of children’s health;
improvement of the morale of children.
193. The financial operations of the foundation are funded with charitable contributions from Republic of Uzbekistan residents (legal persons and individuals) and non-residents. The staff consists of 15 people.
194. One of the largest non-governmental organizations involved in youth rights is the Kamolot Public Youth Movement of Uzbekistan. The main priority of the work of the Movement consists in bringing the progressive youth of the republic together; forming physically healthy, spiritually mature citizens of independent Uzbekistan; raising them to be loyal to a national idea and ideology based on national and universal values and democratic principles; representing and protecting the interests of young people; and transforming the Movement into a true support mechanism for youth.
195. The Movement has a branched structure consisting of 14 oblast and 199 rayon subdivisions (1,200 staff workers). The frontline organizations for working with youth comprise 15,800 units that are set up in all educational institutions of the republic, in military units, in departments, in various workplaces, and on farms.
196. The Movement today brings together more than 4.5 million young people (14-30 years old) and, when combined with members of the Kamalak (Rainbow) children’s movement (4 million children aged 10-14), is one of the largest public organizations, is based on the development of various forms of self-government and is helping to establish the “primary” institutions of civil society.
197. In conducting some 7,800 spiritual outreach events, round tables, discussions, seminars and conferences, and cultural and recreational events, the Movement has enveloped some 6 million young people throughout the republic; has developed 20 teaching aids, booklets and posters; and has published more than 200 feature-story articles.
198. The State is actively supporting the Kamolot Movement. For example, the year 2006 saw the issuance of a Republic of Uzbekistan presidential decree on support for the public movement Kamolot and for the enhancement of the effectiveness of its work; on the basis of a mutual partnership, the decree formed, for the first time ever, a foundation whose funds come from small businesses. In addition, under an agreement with the Ministry of Finance, the Tax Committee, and the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the structures of the Movement are exempted from audits and enjoy reduced rates for banking services.
199. Uzbekistan is a multinational country where more than 140 national cultural centres are in operation. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 10 of 10 January 1992 established the Republican Inter-Nations Cultural Centre. The Centre coordinates activities and provides practical and instructional assistance to national cultural centres and thereby actively participates in meeting the needs of representatives of the various nationalities and peoples who live in the country. At present, the Centre has 33 staff members funded by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
200. The Uzbek Society for the Disabled was created in 1991. That organization has 114 branches in all oblasts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, with a membership of 120,000 (there are 850,000 disabled persons in the Republic of Uzbekistan). Functioning within the system of the Society are nearly 100 subsidiary units in which disabled persons work. The principal work of the Society consists in the social rehabilitation of disabled persons, the provision of assistance to the disabled in terms of obtaining education, and the creation of equal opportunities for the disabled in the exercise of their rights.
201. For purposes of enhancing the effectiveness of State policy for the social protection of veterans and increasing their role in the strengthening of the independence and sovereignty of the republic, the 4 December 1996 Republic of Uzbekistan presidential decree created the Nuroni Foundation for the social support of veterans of Uzbekistan.
202. Under the presidential decree and the Foundation’s Charter, it is a self-governing, self-funding, non-governmental non-commercial association that operates independently.
203. The primary objective of the Foundation is to participate actively in the implementation of a robust social policy—particularly in demonstrating respect for veterans—for disabled and elderly citizens, in the creation of favorable social and living conditions for them, and in the events that provide them material, medical, and moral support.
Recognition of the jurisdiction of regional human rights courts 204. The Republic of Uzbekistan is not a party to regional human rights agreements and, accordingly, does not recognize the jurisdiction of regional human rights courts.
Е. Framework for promoting human rights at the national level
Dissemination of human rights treaties 205. In the Republic of Uzbekistan, in close cooperation with such international partners as the UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, OSCE and ICRC, more than 100 core international human rights instruments have been translated into Uzbek and published in large runs. Over the last eight years, the following compilations of international treaties have been published in Uzbek:
1. Declaration of Principles of Tolerance. Tashkent, 2000.
2. International Instruments for the Rights of Minors. Tashkent, 2002, 232 pp.
3. Republic of Uzbekistan and International Human Rights Treaties. Tashkent, Adolat, 2002, 270 pp.
4. International Humanitarian Law: Compilation of Geneva Conventions. Tashkent, 2002.
5. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Human Dimension. Helsinki 1975-1999. Tashkent, 2002.
6. Documents on UNESCO International Standards. Tashkent, Adolat, 2004, 298 pp.
7. International Documents on the Work of Law-Enforcement Agencies. Tashkent, Adolat, 2004, 212 pp.
8. International Human Rights Instruments: Compilation. Tashkent, Adolat, 2004, 520 pp.
9. International Human Rights Instruments. Tashkent, 2004.
10. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Tashkent, 2004.
11. Protection of the Rights of the Child. Handbook for Parliamentarians. Tashkent: UNIСEF, 2006.
12. Human Rights. Handbook for Parliamentarians. Tashkent, 2007.
13. Democracy and the Parliament in the Twenty-First Century. Handbook for Parliamentarians. Tashkent, 2007.
14. Compilation of Core Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organization. Tashkent: National Centre for Human Rights, 2008, 240 pp.
15. Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour: Practical Guide for the Use of the ILO Convention No. 182. Handbook for Parliamentarians No. 3/2002. Tashkent, National Centre for Human Rights, 2008.
Study of human rights by civil servants and members of law-enforcement agencies 206. Operating in the Republic of Uzbekistan is a network of educational institutions that train and re-train lawyers and law-enforcement workers. Numbered among such institutions are the law schools of universities, the Tashkent State Law Institute, the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Institute of the National Security Service, the National Centre for the Further Training of Legal Specialists, and the Advanced Courses of the Office of the Procurator-General.
207. Attendees are taught the subject “Human Rights” at the Academy for the Development of the State and Society, which is attached to the Office of the President. That course involves field trips to the National Centre for Human Rights and the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner.
208. In the republic’s Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, aspects of the use of norms of international law in the activities of internal affairs agencies are taught with subjects such as “General Theory of Human Rights” (40 hours), “Criminal Procedure” (180 hours), “Criminal Law” (270 hours), “International Law” (50 hours) and “Preliminary Investigation in Internal Affairs Agencies” (234 hours).
209. Attendees of Higher Academic Courses with a specialty in “Organization of the Management of Internal Affairs Agencies” are taught the course “International Cooperation in the Fight Against Crime” (24 hours). Attendees of Higher Academic Courses are also taught the 30-hour course “Human Rights and the Work of Internal Affairs Agencies”.
210. In the training of internal affairs staff, the advanced courses for providing legal training for non-commissioned officers have a 16-hour instructional subsection titled “Human Rights and the Work of Internal Affairs Agencies”.
211. Within the framework of the above-indicated training courses, particular attention is focused on international law standards in the field of human rights and freedoms, specifically, on international law guarantees of protection of the rights of those who have been indicted, those who are standing trial and those who have been convicted; on the minimum standards for the rules for handling detained persons; on protection of all persons from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, etc.
212. The department for advanced training of officers of internal affairs agencies of the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs regularly conducts re-training and advanced-training sessions. Special curricula that are coordinated with relevant services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs involve 176 hours of classes, including classes on “International Human Rights Standards in Criminal Proceedings”, as well as “The Application of the Norms of Criminal Procedure Law on the Admissibility of Evidence under the 24 September 2004 plenary session ruling No. 12 of the Supreme Court”.
213. The training on safeguarding human rights in the context of the work of internal affairs agencies on the basis of international human rights standards is conducted primarily for staff members who are directly involved in investigating crime, namely, criminal and anti-terrorism investigators and inspectors, district inspectors for crime prevention, and prison authorities.
214. The Republican Centre for Further Training of Legal Specialists is a State educational institution that performs advanced training and re-training of justice ministry personnel, the courts, attorneys, law instructors and legal-service personnel.
215. The Centre devotes particular attention to the international legal system for protecting human rights and freedoms. The curriculum includes the following training programmes: “National Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan and International Standards in the Sphere of Justice”, “Basics of International Humanitarian Law”, “Legal Bases of the Efforts to Combat International Crime”, “Place and Role of International Standards for the Protection of Human Rights in the Work of Law-Enforcement Agencies”, “National Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan and International Human Rights Law”, and “Legal Status of the Public in International Law”.
216. Attendees are taught the theory and practice of incorporating international standards into Republic of Uzbekistan national law, specifically, the right to life, the right to freedom and personal inviolability, the right to the protection of one’s honor and dignity, the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, and the right to protection against torture and to freedom of thought, expression, and opinion and freedom of conscience and religion.
217. The 7 November 2007 decision of the President on the formation of Advanced Courses of the Office of the Procurator-General of the Republic of Uzbekistan abolished the Centre for Problems Associated with Strengthening Legality and with the Professional Development of Procuratorial and Investigative Workers and created in its place the Advanced Courses of the Office of the Procurator-General of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
218. The programme for re-training supervisory personnel calls for six months of training; the programme for professional development, up to one month.
219. Over the past three years (2005-2007), the Centre conducted courses such as “International Standards for Administering Justice for Minors”, “Problems in the Implementation of the Institution of Habeas Corpus in the Stage of Pretrial Investigation”, “Cooperation between Procurator-General Authorities and the Office of the Ombudsman in the Safeguarding of Civil Rights and Freedoms”, “International Legal Instruments Pertaining to the Human Dimension”, and “United Nations Standards for Officers Who Conduct Inquiries and Criminal Investigations”.
220. The curriculum of the Institute of the National Security Service includes the study of the subject “Human Rights” as a separate subject consisting of 24 academic hours.
221. Academic subjects are taught on an interdisciplinary basis and include general aspects of human rights, as well as specific practical requirements for their observance, which future staff members of offices of the National Security Service must be guided by in their law-enforcement activities.
222. In addition to being taught as a separate subject, certain aspects of human rights are also found in other academic subjects on the law, such as “The Theory of the State and Law”, “Criminal Law”, “Administrative Law”, “Civil Law”, and “Civil Procedures”.
223. The Institute of the National Security Service has a Centre on the Law of Armed Conflicts, which also has classes on human rights.
224. In addition to being taught to investigators and judges, aspects of the study of international human rights standards are included in the training programme at military education institutions of the Republic of Uzbekistan Ministry of Defense. Elective courses have been taught since the 2005 school year, and, since the 2006 school year, the “Foundations of Military Law” block has included the sections “Humanitarian Law” and “Law of Armed Conflict”, which address human rights in a 10- to 12-hour format.
225. In training and re-training doctors, the Republic of Uzbekistan Ministry of Health system focuses a certain amount of attention on the study of human rights. Specifically, in all medical education institutions, at the baccalaureate level, teaching of the subject “Forensic Medicine” involves explanation of the rights of the specialist, the medical examiner, and the junior medical examiner. The subject “Legal Bases of the Work of the Physician” is being taught, and in it, particular attention is devoted to the rights and freedoms of the individual, including the right to life, freedom and personal inviolability; the right to protection against attack; and the unacceptability of the use of torture or violence. Also explained is the unacceptability of conducting medical or scientific experiments on an individual without that individual’s consent. These matters are examined both from the standpoint of the patient and the standpoint of medical personnel.